On Writing: Worldbuilding Pt. 1: Setting

Hey there, A. E. here. Today is all about…worldbuilding! It is honestly my favorite part of the writing process, next to the actual writing of the book. I love to worldbuild and I like talking about it. Today’s post is the start of a new series on Worldbuilding.

all of this…make your own from scratch

I’ll go over each aspect of the worldbuilding process I use when I’m creating a new world. Note, that these don’t have to only be for creating a new world. These can also work for creating a town or a city or filling out a history of the place you’re writing in.

These also are not rules. Writers worldbuild whichever way works for them. I am simply sharing my process and the things I’ve learned about worldbuilding on my journey as a writer. Maybe a few of the things I’ll share will help you out, and that would be awesome.

So, the first part of this series, I’ll cover the Setting.

Now most normally, setting features the neighborhood, town or city a story takes place in. Setting after, really means “place.” Where are we in the story? Where are the characters, where is this story setting or where is it taking place?

For examples….

does a story take place in the wilds of nature?

or

in the ancient ruins of a world long past?

However world setting ups the ante quite a bit. World setting is far bigger than the setting of a town or a neighborhood.

Is the setting Earth or Earth-like as in with seven continents separated by bodies of water?

Or is it one large land mass with small pockets of water interspersed throughout?

Or is it a giant island surrounded by water?

The possibilities are endless.

Now sometimes, starting with the setting of the entire world can be daunting, so it doesn’t have to be the very first thing you do when you begin to craft your world. However it’ll come into place again and again as you figure out your people and what they eat and what they wear.

clothing suited for an urban lifestyle. Jungle adventurers? Not likely.

After all, if the setting takes place in an arctic wasteland, characters aren’t to be wearing bikinis and straw hats. Unless of course they’re a race of people who are impervious to the cold…which belongs to whole different section of worldbuilding that we’ll get to later.

One large tip about figuring out the world setting is understanding that if you’ll base your world around Earth, that is featuring carbon-based life forms that need oxygen and water and what not, even so, the planet shouldn’t be all one biome.

What I mean by biome is the entire planet shouldn’t be exactly the same, such as planets covered in snow or completely desert or totally tropical.

how can an entire giant planet all look exactly the same?

In Earth, we have different biomes all over the entire planet. If I’m recalling correctly, Star Wars had this problem, and I think Star Trek might have done it a few times too, when an entire planet is covered in snow, or the entire planet is covered in jungle or tropics. For your world, try and make it varied with different biomes.

But! This is still your story. So if your story requires the entire world to be covered in flames, and the indigenous people live underground, well then, that’s perfectly fine.

It’s not necessarily where I start, this worldbuilding series won’t be in order of operation when I write my story. But it’ll feature all the things I think about and work on when building a world from scratch.

its an empty page. You fill it up however you want!

Just remember that the setting of the world will dictate plenty of factors that come after. What characters wear and eat will depend on where they live, and how people create their clothes, and how they hunt, if eating meat, and how they gather food, or if they need to eat to survive at all.

World setting doesn’t have to be what you do first but its definitely something to consider once you’re underway with your worldbuilding.

So that’s how I come at the world setting. What did you think? This was only part one of my worldbuilding series, with more to come.

If you liked this world-building post, why not read my other posts here on my author website? Maybe read my last On Writing post on criticism or try out this piece on how to make your dreams come true?

Hope you stick around to keep reading, and if you want to keep up with my posts, consider following my website and get an email direct to your inbox each time I post!Hope to see you there!

And as always, while I write my cat Aomine keeps me company by my side.

I think she wants attention.

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